Father and son team in Nebraska have distilled 50 years of experience providing critical services to the construction industry into a one-of-a-kind franchise opportunity with multiple revenue streams.
Dan Bennett Sr. has been in the janitorial business for decades, but things didn’t really take off until 1998 when he was asked to bid on a job to clean up a construction site for a planned Super Target. It was more complicated than a typical janitorial engagement, involving many kinds of surfaces so he had to plan carefully for the bid, but in the end, he made a lot of money on the job, and said to himself, “Wow, this is the thing to do.”
The $51 billion dollar janitorial services industry will keep on growing for years, says the recent IBIS World Janitorial Services Market Report. Every type of business will continue to need reliable, environmentally friendly cleaning services.
Specialization Wins the Day
Since Bennett and his son Dan Bennett Jr. began to specialize, their business has taken off, handling many high-profile jobs, including airports, big box stories and hospitals. Last year, his company Izsam, billed nearly $4 million with a gross revenue percentage of 25%. “In the janitorial business you’re probably gonna make somewhere between 10 to 15%, that’s really if everything is going right,” says Bennett Sr. “That’s because anybody can own a janitor business; they can just buy a vacuum, and a bucket and wringer, and they go into business.Whereas construction clean, you’ve got to know what you’re doing.”
Last year, his company Izsam, billed nearly $4 million with a gross revenue percentage of 25%.
What is Construction Cleanup?
With new construction there a bewildering array of cleaning problems a typical janitorial service wouldn’t know how to handle, including removing the stickers and plastic film from new windows, tiles, moulding and other surfaces, to say nothing of the construction dust that seems to fill every nook and cranny of a site, right down to the tracks of a kitchen drawer. New materials are coming out every day according to Bennett Sr., and to stay on top of them, Iszam consults with the manufacturer before attempting to clean them. Also excess paint and dried cement frequently must be removed from surfaces, something janitorial services aren’t trained to handle. Furthermore, with the proliferation of “green” construction projects, construction cleaning crews have to be well-versed in eco-friendly cleaning techniques as well.
Anybody can own a janitor business; they can just buy a vacuum, and a bucket and wringer. Whereas in construction clean, you’ve got to know what you’re doing.
Izsam’s reputation and specialized services created a dilemma for the company. Satisfied clients were asking them to bid on jobs in cities far away from their home location in Omaha, Nebraska.“We would send out some crews, but soon we realized we were stretching ourselves too thin,” says Bennett Sr.. Concerned that they couldn’t control quality on distant jobs, the Bennetts looked into franchising, and discovered there was no competition in construction cleanup. They immediately launched the Izsam Franchise Program.
Five Revenue Streams for Franchisees
Bennett’s employees are bonded and OSHA certified, a selling point for construction contractors who have to follow OSHA’s safety guidelines on keeping construction sites clean throughout the process to protect the workers. On large jobs, this means that Izsam not only wins the bid on final cleanup, but also keeps workers on site doing cleanup throughout the construction— an additional revenue stream. Similarly, he provides trailer cleaning services for the subcontractors on site. “A lot of times they’ll have anywhere from 2 trailers up to 15 trailers, and we’ll just clean them on either a nightly basis, or weekly,” he says. Bennett has also developed ongoing revenue streams by offering the incoming client continuing janitorial services, and window cleaning.
Franchise Costs and Financing
Surprisingly, the costs to get into this extraordinary opportunity are low.
- The franchise fee is $25,000
- Potential franchisees need liquid capital of an additional $50,000 – $75,000 to keep the business running smoothly until revenue flows in.
- Some of the liquid capital requirement can be through a loan. Izsam works with a financial services company to provide franchisees with loans if needed.
- Franchise royalties amount to 6% of gross revenue plus 1% for advertising which covers the costs of ads in construction trade journals.
Training and Ongoing Support
New franchisees go to Omaha for two weeks of training, which includes a 10-hour OSHA certification course. After training on the basic skills, franchisees get some real-life experience working in the field with sales people, and doing hands-on cleaning. After they open their own franchises, Izsam spends a week with them helping them get started, including traveling with the franchisees on their sales calls. To ensure that their new franchisees will actually make money on their jobs, their bids will be analyzed by headquarters before being submitted to clients. Bennett Sr. explains, “If we see that they’re gonna lose money, we’re obviously gonna tell them either walk away from it, or bid it higher, and why they need to bid it higher.”
Another piece of continuing support is a computer application called Builder Trends that Izsam crew leaders carry on their phones. On large building sites there’s a lot going on and many superintendents to please. Builder Trends allows the crew leaders to get digital sign-offs each time a job is done to make sure that they’re being paid for everything they do. As Dan Bennett Sr. says, “We want to make sure they’re making money.”
IZSAM Provides Five Revenue Streams (Content provided by IZSAM)
1. During construction of job sites we provide OSHA safety trained employees that know how to keep the site clean. Construction companies pay good money for this kind of service, which helps them keep their sites clean for OSHA inspections. Sometimes we are on the site during construction for up to two or three years if it’s a big construction site, like for hospitals, highrise buildings, manufacturing plants or airports, of which we have cleaned with our franchisees.
2. Every construction company has either trailers or offices on site that their superintendents use to meet with subcontractors and clients during construction. We offer to clean these on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis, adding revenue for our franchisees.
3. When the construction nears it’s completion, we do the final clean before they turn it over to the client that will be using the facility or home if it’s residential. Many times the construction company has us do final clean once, twice and sometime three times before they turn it over. The reason for multiple cleaning is due to the subcontractors continuing to make a mess of the job site, requiring us to do more cleaning before they turn it over. This all brings in a lot of revenue for our franchisees.
4. Since we are already cleaning the facility, we know who the future client is going to be that is taking over the site. We call the client and we get to bid on the janitorial cleaning of the building and thus, bring in continuing revenue for our franchisees.
5. The new client is going to need their windows cleaned on a regular basis. We offer to be their window cleaning service, bringing in continued revenue.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE IZSAM? (content provided by IZSAM)
Learn how to keep great clients coming back for more service – from construction sites, to office buildings, to schools, retail outlets, restaurants, apartment complexes, and more… the list of potential clients goes on and on! We’ll show you how you can turn one-time cleaning projects into ongoing cleaning contracts.
A focus on quality, eco-friendly services, including “green cleaning,” which resonates with today’s discerning customer base; we’ll show you how to more efficiently clean client sites, and provide you access to specialized cleaning equipment and supplies designed to minimize negative impacts on the environment!
A team committed to supporting you: benefit from all the professional support we offer to our franchise owners.